Children have been taught at a young age about 9-1-1, but have you heard about 3-1-1?
My name is Dr. Raquishela Stewart and I run the CharMeck 311 contact center. We are under the umbrella of Housing & Neighborhood Services, which is under the direction of Shawn Heath and our Deputy Director Rebecca Hefner.
CharMeck 311 I believe is the best hidden gem of the City of Charlotte. We are the first point of contact for anyone that is doing business with the city or even some county resources
There are a variety of ways that 311can be contacted. Of course, the most familiar is our three-digit dial of 3-1-1. We do have a full seven-digit number which is 704-336-7600.
We have our newly formed app. We've had it for a little bit over a year, it’s available for apple and android and it's CLT+. What I love about it is it's available 24/7.
And then lastly anytime you go to a city website page at the bottom you'll see live chat and that is available as well 7 a.m to 7 pm.
Some heroes wear capes, Others wear headsets
I think 311 is underestimated because we are considered customer service, but we do much more than that.
During the recent pandemic we were a resource for RAMP CLT, which we know was important because that provided rental mortgage and utility assistance.
We are working on a White House initiative as it relates to the digital divide, and we are working with Queen's University making referrals for the digital navigator program. We are working with Common Wealth Charlotte as it relates to financial navigators, which provides great financial literacy resources, and then internally within 311, we have our own speakers bureau program, where we go out into the community both proactive and reactive to provide information on various resources that are available through the city and the county of Mecklenburg.
We are considered an essential department for the city so just to give a few examples. In January  there was a snowstorm over the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, which lasted I believe from Saturday all the way through Monday the actual holiday. So we opened up so that we could help navigate calls we wanted to make sure that true emergency calls were able to reach 9-1-1. So during that weekend we were able to take almost 7,000 phone calls
Other events that we have supported are the RNC, the DNC, and even All-Star weekend, so we are a true partner of all the departments within the city.
I do want to just reiterate and repeat that I think that 3-1-1 is the best-kept secret and we are here and available to serve our community.
And again we can be reached by the three-digit dial of 311, we can be reached on our app, CLT+ – I recommend that you download it – or you can reach us on the web.
We are here and we have a strong commitment to the community.